Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Super Bowl Ad You Won't See--I'm Opting for "8-1/2"--Saturday Journal

Unless you're from New Orleans or Indianapolis, you may not have a stake in the outcome of the Superbowl Game on Sunday evening.  If you're like many non-fans or partygoers, you'll tune in to the "game' in order to watch the commercials.  And there will be the promise of laughs from spots for Budweiser with the  Clydesdales and other critters, Coca Cola featuring The Simpsons, Doritos, Taco Bell, GoDaddy,The Honda Squirrel, a whimsical and effects-laden ad for, the TruTv "Groundhog Day", and, for real family fun, the Anti-Abortion Ad featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

Yes, that does sound incongruous, doesn't it? 

During the Super Bowl tomorrow, CBS will run a 30-second commercial sponsored by the fundamentalist group Focus on the Family. The ad will feature University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam. 

That alone has stirred controversy from Women's Groups and other liberal organizations. 

What has been even more troublesome is CBS' decsion not to air an ad by gay-dating service ManCrunch.  CBS cited inappropriate content as the reason. 

I fall in with those who believe that advocacy ads have their place, and that all should have an opportunity to purchase ad space.  Or else the playing field shoule be leveled against all such ads.

Back in January Michael Rowe offered a scathing opinion in Huffington Post about the troublesome implications of CBS' decision to air this ad, in light of their refusal to air ads by other groups like United Church of Christ for their inclusiveness to all people, including gays:

The fact that CBS has agreed to air this commercial will doubtless come as a surprise to the United Church of Christ, whose own message--inclusiveness--was deemed too controversial for the network when they tried to air a series of commercials in December 2004.
The UCC commercials were rejected by CBS and NBC because they allegedly contained an "advocacy" message. One of the commercials in particular featured a male couple trying to enter a church to worship, but being barred by a tough-looking nightclub bouncer behind a velvet rope. In the ad, the bouncer denies them entry, but allows more "normal" parishonners (read white, middle-class, heterosexual) to pass freely.
The apparently too-controversial tagline of the UCC commercial was "Jesus Didn't Turn People Away. Neither Do We."

Chances are, the petitions to pull the Tebow ad will not affect CBS' decision to run it, and chances are, as you're enjoying your nachos and Bud Lite, or checking your office pool statistics, or letting the dog out, you will see the Anti-Abortion spot.

In the interest of free access, free speech and in honorable remembrance of the  Fairness doctrine (somewhat inaccurately applied here I know but still I miss it!), below is the ad you most likely won't see.

Is anyone else as weary as I am of hearing that a kiss shared by two guys is "inappropriate" content?

Luckily, Turner Classic Movies must have heard my desperate hope for interesting alternate programming on Sunday (the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet will sustain me for only an hour or so).... and so they will be airing, at 7pm Chicago time, Federico Fellini's 1963 masterpiece "8-1/2", the inspiration for the great and terribly  unappreciated film "Nine".   (I'm confident that "Nine" will be re-discovered, and loved, some day.)

Check out the ManCrunch ad....It's keeping with other Super Bowl ads.  It is as appropriate for the Super Bowl as the Tebow ad.

1 comment:

  1. love that Mancrunch ad. and as an FSU student...must Tebow really give me another reason?